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Saturday, December 19, 2015

31 March 1813 - North Germany

French win battle of Magdeburg
Prussians lose 3900 casualties and four brigades in rout
French lose 2900 casualties and one brigade in rout

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

31 March 1813 – Battle of Madgeburg

Tactical map of battle area

Background to battle
All four Prussian corps have orders to attack
1st Prussian corps is pinned by 3rd French corps
Table at start of wargame
HQ Prussian arrive move 1
2 Prussian     start on table
3 Prussian     arrive move 1
4 Prussian     arrive move 1

HQ French    start on table
1 French       start on table
4 French       start on table
13 French     arrive move 5

Napoleon orders 1st corps to hold the top and centre bridges.
Blucher orders 4th corps to attack the top bridge, 2nd corps the centre one 
and 3rd corps the bottom one.
1st French corps start to redeploy
All three Prussian corps advance

French redeploy to hold the whole river line
Prussian corps advance
French continue to redeploy
4 corps send two brigades to occupy Magdeburg
Prussian continue to advance
4 corps start to deploy
Both sides continue to deploy
4 Prussian artillery open fire, no casualties
French guard artillery open fire, hit column
4 French move artillery north of town to cover centre of river

13 Polish corps arrive (bottom left)
Napoleon orders them to deploy to the left of the guard
4 Prussian corps starts to cross river (top left)
Artillery exchange fire, no casualties
Prussians must press home their attack before 13 Polish can deploy
3 and 4 Prussian corps cross river
2 Prussian are too weak to cross in the centre

13 Polish lancers force 4 Prussian infantry into square
2 Prussian artillery hit guard cavalry, who retire out of range 
All three Prussian corps cross river

3 Prussian infantry skirmish town, no casualties
4 Prussian infantry skirmish and force guard artillery to retire
13 Polish lancers charge dragoons, melee is a draw, both disordered

3 Prussian artillery hit square
3 Prussian infantry ordered to attack town
Town garrison win skirmish
2 Prussian artillery hit guard square
Guard infantry and 2 and 4 Prussian infantry firefight is a draw

13 Polish deploy and advance to attack
Guard square is shaken by 2 Prussian artillery
2 Prussian dragoons charge and rout shaken square
Polish lancers charge and rout 4 Prussian infantry
4 French cuirassiers charge and rout 3 Prussian gunners
4 French artillery and garrison rout 3 Prussian infantry attacking town

The Prussians have failed to take Magdeburg
With the arrival of 13 Polish corps Blucher orders a general retreat
The Prussians have lost 3600 infantry, 200 gunners and 100 cavalry
In addition two infantry brigades, one cavalry and 3 corps artillery are in rout
The French have lost 2800 infantry and 100 cavalry
In addition one guard infantry brigade is in rout
The French have won this battle
They have held Magdeburg and forced the Prussian to retreat over the river

Battle Summary
The Prussians start the battle with odds of three to two
However to win the battle they have to cross the river and take Magdeburg
They must do so before 13 Polish corps arrive at 1pm
By mid morning all three Prussian corps are in position and start to cross the river
The French Guard have to hold the river line against 2 and 4 Prussian corps
In doing so they suffer heavy casualties
However they hold their position until the Poles arrive
3 Prussian corps is ordered to attack Magdeburg
In doing so they expose their left flank, which is charged by 4 French cuirassiers
The Prussian artillery and one infantry brigade are routed and the attack is defeated
There is not sufficient space for 13 Polish corps to deploy in the centre or right
They have to move through the pass to attack 4 Prussian corps
The Prussians increase the pressure to break the French Guard
However they manage to hold until the Poles start to deploy
Unable to take Magdeburg, or hold his position on the west bank, Blucher retreats
The Prussians have lost 3900 casualties and have four brigades in rout
The French have lost 2900 casualties and one brigade in rout
The French have won the battle